If you celebrate Xmas, chances are you might be in the market for some gifts for the little people in your family. The toy manufacturing market is not a pretty one, with many of the major toy companies manufacturing in China in sweatshop conditions. If you don’t want to give a toy to a child made by a child, you need to think through how to find ethical sweatshop free toys. Choice magazine suggests:

How to buy an ethical toy

Neither current codes nor certification of compliance is good enough for you to be certain you’re buying an ethical toy, but these tips will increase your chances.

  • Avoid toys that don’t disclose the name and contact details of the importer and/or manufacturer.
  • Does the brand-name company or the importer have ethical sourcing principles in place? Check its website or ask — the more persistent the inquiries, the more likely they are to listen.
  • Prefer toys manufactured by companies that have a robust code of conduct or that are committed to the ICTI Care Processes.
  • Avoid anonymous toys at ridiculously low prices — they’re more likely to be unsafe as well as sourced from the less ethical end of the market.

If you have the cash, you can avoid the whole issue by supporting eco toy companies. My favourite is Eco Toys. Pricey though. If you want to further avoid the whole consumer hoopla, consider buying second hand or making something. There are many ways to give.

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